Investigating the College Aspirations of Adolescent Males: A Case Study in a Southern California High School
As a result of globalization trends, the United States continues to lose manufacturing jobs that have provided a stable income and a middle class living. The new jobs being created increasingly require a college education. Female students have made great strides over the last thirty years and by many measures, now outperform males academically. Trends show that academic achievement and college attendance rates of males are beginning to lag behind that of females at precisely the time when both genders in the United States need to be considering college in order to be qualified for the higher paying jobs of the new economy. This presentation presents the results of a case study that used document analysis, observation and interviews of four adolescent males during their final year of high school to investigate factors that shaped their post high school plans. While all four youths had clearly heard the message of the importance of college, only one of the four had actually met the requirements for acceptance to a four-year university. The other three had not taken required courses needed for acceptance to a four year university and were subsequently planning on attending community colleges or looking for employment. The students had very different levels of preparation for post-high school work. The differences are explored by examining their early school experiences, high school course taking patterns, relationships with peers, and relationships with families.
Keywords: Aspirations, Adolescent, Males
Ms. Satinder Brar Hawkins
Teacher, Government and Economics: Secondary, Long Beach Unified School District